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Post  risorgimento59 on Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:38 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:No, I am innocent. It is the game engine at work. Unless those Austrians had low morale and were very disorganized, attacking them with such a small force will always end badly. Attacking the flank or rear of an enemy gives a large morale bonus, but not large enough to offset the difference in size. As Ehey always says, "size matters."

And I'm fine with that, Kevin. Cool
What is quite unfair I think is they surrender out of the blue with 1) close friendly support available.
2) To an enemy significantly threated both in strength and "geometrically" (2 sides).
3) Having an open retreat path.
4) A run speed delta not too unfavourable to disengage.
5) A record of casualties suffered during the retreat not being a scary thing.
I probably had bad luck with the random number generator too, who knows...
Still I see this becoming a potential cause of sooo much frustration in a GCM style play, for example. Shocked

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Post  Charmead on Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:17 am

I had to leave the computer for last 15 minutes of game today, but clearly my brigade continued to out-perform Kevin's division despite my absence. And that merely continued the trend since the start of the battle, where my brigade pretty much carried the load for his eastern flank responsibility. I did learn a lot from him, such as new and fascinating ways to retreat ones troops in panic

Reports of French cavalry overrunning one of my squares is entirely a rumor. We have a tradition in our brigade of randomly selecting battalions to "run away like Kevin's troops." It is a fun game. My executive officer will randomly call out a battalion, the bugler will sound a note, and the chosen troops all have to run away real fast, pretending to be wildly in panic. The fact that they were almost in square at the time the bugle sounded and French cavalry was in full gallop towards them was entirely coincidental

I appreciate y'all stopping the game to allow me to come in late after an hour - was fun & thanks!

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Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:48 am

It was an incredibly tough fight, the enemy attacks against me SE of Mareuil were relentless. Miko saved my skin by containing another attack on my right in the nick of time.
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Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:15 pm

It was a hard battle.  However, the comic relief of watching the disassembly of Pat's brigade by the French, made for good entertainment.  Hats off to Pat and the Three Stooges-esque handling of his brigade.  Somewhere Moe, Larry and Curley are smiling.
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Post  Miko77 on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:37 pm

Regarding last battle - wasn't particularly enjoyable for me but I must say, scenario was good again - AI engaged us along whole map rather than clustering around objectives.
Btw. what was the objective? or maybe I shouldn't know if there was any if we play this again in different set up...
My corps was given just limited order which we approximately followed... then I received one order from Kevin which was hard to interpret in given circumstances... or maybe I should have given him picture of where the French forces are in the southern sector... wasted time marching north then south... eventually got to fight and pushed the French out of Vatry - full 12pdr battery was pounding the garrison-able building for a while and 3 French battalions eventually decided to look for less "shot through" real estate...
So was it a victory in the end?
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Post  Vincent6691 on Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:26 pm

The objectives were Epernay, Rheims and Mareuil. And prevent the Chalons road to be cut.

Then, I would say we have 50% objectives taken Very Happy since Epernay was not taken and we were still fighting at Rheims were the enemy fortified a Cathedral.
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Post  Miko77 on Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:26 pm

Thanks Vince... so since Kevin was in charge, I'd say it was humiliating defeat Very Happy
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Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:54 pm

Thanks Vince... so since Kevin was in charge, I'd say it was humiliating defeat
And I'd say, It's hard to get good help. Sad
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Post  Miko77 on Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:03 pm

And I'd say, It's hard to get good help. Sad

Kutusov Crying??

to cheer you up - I'm giving up command (even on Corps level) for a while... so you'll get proper help next time cheers
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Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:14 pm

Kutusov Crying??
Only from one eye. Sad
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Post  Vincent6691 on Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:50 pm

As Miko said French deployed on the whole line. In that case it is more a fight of attrition, then we need more than 3 hours and the casualties are going very high.

It could be interesting to test if allowing whole brigades to retreat for a while when casualties are above a threshold would make battle more dynamic. It becomes more interesting to exploit gap between enemy formation or act quickly to force a whole division to leave the place before another arrive.
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Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:33 pm

I have to say that I'm becoming more and more convinced that the SOW engine can't really replicate Napoleonic (or ACW, or any) warfare very well, the battlefield just isn't fluid enough. No other computer driven strategy game can either. Its the limitation to real time that is the problem I think. I think most gamers think real time makes complete sense whereas in my view it doesn't and is a limitation. One almost needs a piece of software that examines a battle in its critical phases.

If you look at the best known battle, Waterloo, the action divides into several distinct events and to accurately replicate the experiences of any one corps commander or division commander you need hours of time where they sit and do nothing. Such a feature would allow you to skip events for certain commands, allow troops to rest and reorganise and even to shift reserves for the next attack, but it then makes it impractical for a 1 player=1 general arrangement.

You really need software that allows you to pause a battle, skip ahead, skip backwards and assign players to take charge of different commands on the fly.
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Post  Grog on Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:56 pm

Interestingly Les Grognards had a feature that allowed time to speed up in multiplayer mode. It picked the average speed of the individual players choice, if I remember correctly.
It was good until at least 1 command got into action but fails when one player needs time to slow down to real time in order to fight.
I agreeI that some of our battles now struggle to meet realistic conclusions and replicate the phases of battle due to distances and the fact that we use objectives as goals, which can sometimes detract from the importance of beating the enemy field army. Not sure how we could do otherwise.

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Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:06 pm

I've felt for sometime that the psychological impact of battle is a missing component.

I suppose we could modify the AI so that when a unit reaches some level of disorganization, it will detach itself and move to the rear until it is completely reorganized. Then depending on its casualty level, it will reattach itself and rejoin the battle. The recovery process could take a long time, so having reserves becomes paramount. This behavior could be made to work all the way up to division level. TCing a unit would not bypass this.

A division being forced to withdraw by this method could have a severe impact on any neighboring divisions. There could be a significant chance that they too will withdraw after seeing their friends marching away. This might force a phased fight rather than the massive scrums we always have.
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Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:21 pm

That would be an improvement. In your Super Duper Version II of the game it might be helpful to have a corps or army commander be able to move players between commands during a game, so that if a division is used up a fresh one can be brought out of reserve and allocated to an existing player. Or a quiet flank with inactive divisions could be left to do nothing for an hour or more and then be activated by having players transferred across to command its divisions when an attack is ordered.
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Post  DumpTruck on Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:50 pm

Sorry I couldn't make it on Friday. I think this withdrawal of troops upon disorganization could be a good system to ensure a little more decisiveness of an engagement, at least in the ability for one side to gain ground and make their enemy move. It might also help decrease our problem with having very high casualties, though I could see conditions where it might increase casualties as well. It seems worth trying though. Currently our battles tend to be us grinding down our divisions into a very low number of men.

In the Best Game Ever 2: Electric Boogaloo I'm sure there's an infinity of options we have to adjust the battlefield psychology. Perhaps even adding in random events that might make a smaller impact on the overall morale situation. Dying officers replaced by the chain of command might result in a decrease or an increase in leadership stats, weather, Napoleon disappearing to go lay down by a windmill, etc.

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Post  risorgimento59 on Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:50 am

Maybe you've already talked about this in the pre-battle chats...
But I've noticed a significant change during the latest couple of games in the way AI side carries out its initial moves.
I'm not giving any opinion, only comparing with the previous general redeployment (and blobbing) approach.
Am I wrong in assuming the tactical orders (loc/quad/vp/etc.) deliberated by Corps commanders are now implemented by just one division at time or eventually one inf div + one cav div? And only one corps at time?
Or it was pure coincidence?

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Post  Charmead on Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:02 pm

I definitely like the idea of an AI at the brigade level exhibiting different behavior as casualties mount. No doubt some commanders will be more tolerant of casualties than others. But it adds a good dimension I think. It definitely forces deliberate considerations of reserves.

And I also think that in cases where a division commander is commanding both AI and human brigades, it will make the latter’s death/destruction all the more sweeter in cases of impossible odds and you want said Human-led brigade to sacrifice itself for the good of the corps, where you simply don’t care if that commander fails. Like hypothetically if we were playing a “pat folder” scenario and, say, the scenario designer just happened to be in my division. Not that I have a particular person in mind. Just being hypothetical.

But overall, yes, the idea of casualties influencing AI commander behavior is an excellent idea


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Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:22 pm

I wonder if the "give up and go home" point could be made Exp value dependent? Or even brigade commander stats rating dependent (multiplying some by others)? I think that would give some interesting battles. The commander stats versions would also give us another tool to delineate the good commanders from the mediocre ones.
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Post  risorgimento59 on Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:32 pm

Where should they go and to do what, is an aspect of the problem as important as the "when" imho.
If Kevin could order some of the still effective part of these troops (maybe after a splitbrig) to, say, guard guns or secundary but strategically/potentially relevant (choke)points, internal LoCs, etc. that would be awesome I think.
I've seen sometimes very bizzare decisions originated by the brigades giving up (being cut off, etc.).
I'm a bit worried it could show up at a larger scale honestly.
But I'm equally confident that could be avoided and being tweaked for the best balance by our favourite all-season Santa. santa

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Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:01 pm

I wonder if the "give up and go home" point could be made Exp value dependent?
Not Exp dependent, but leadership and loyalty of the commander dependent. The formula I am going to try is: decisionValue = organized level + leadership + loyalty + stance / 20. A 1200 sided die is rolled. If the number rolled is greater than the decisionValue the unit leave the battle to reorganize. This check would begin when a unit reaches an organized level of 250, (perfect organization is 1000). For a leader of average stats on a probe stance, there would be a 63% of failing the check. At a organized level of 150 the chance of leaving goes up to 75%. The failure chance goes up for more defensive stances and down for more aggressive ones.
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Post  Charmead on Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:26 pm

Would it be possible and/or worthwhile for there be modifiers +|- for factors such as friendly units in line of sight/vicinity, enemy units in
Line of sight/vicinity, defensive terrain
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Post  Charmead on Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:31 pm

How did the last half of the scenario go? I turned my division over to Earl of U about halfway to the NNW objective. According to replay it looked like Ehey might have had a fight at that objective as the AI reversed course to meet him.

Overall the AI behaved much differently this time out. I had a relatively straightforward move laterally east against a cav brigade (They were focused on Digby, not me) to link up with Digbys flank It was fun to catch some Russians in a vice with me and Digby on either side. I then pressed north. Met some more cav but had Grogs help.

Last time we did this scenario I operated in the exact same area but had a much tougher time facing multiple russian attacks.
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Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:09 pm

We got all the objectives and won a great victory. It all seemed to suddenly come together after you went home sick and Uxbridge took over your command. Miko & I fought a tough battle in the south with your help and Ehey held off the communist hordes in the north for long enough for Phil, Grog and Uxbridge to distract them enough so they couldn't overrun him although his defence and Custers looked like they'd have a lot in common for a while. Grog as Reno and Phil as Benteen just managed to save the day. After defeating the southern enemy Miko and I went up the centre. I left a brigade to hold the middle objective town that began with a "B" and Miko threw the enemy out of Neu Nart in fine style and occupied that, so it was drinks and celebrations all round.
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Post  Charmead Today at 2:44 am

Vince and me against the world lol

So with this mod the 12 mile map seems BIG lol.

Our plan was for me to get to the SE objective and try to draw as much attention as possible. Clearly I drew attention lol. It was a tough fight at the SE objective vs. Ehey and Grog. Then Miko. My divisions got chewed up.

I could only focus on one area at a time. My primary focus was the SE objective. So I let me cav division fight on AI majority of the time. I also wish I had paid attention to the fact that one of my divisions - flanking that objective from the east - suddenly went off the road. That caused a 30-min delay or so. Oh well. Was a tough seesaw battle at that objective. I took the objective but frankly there was not much left of my forces.

Overall a lot of fun. With a smaller map or closer initial placement we could have used different maneuvering. And Victory conditions would have been better written for Vince and I to take 2 of 3 objectives vice all 3, but thats ok. Was a fun fight. Really enjoyed it, which is what matters.
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